Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz groom said it was an honour to join colleagues from across the UK in remembering fallen officers at the National Police Memorial Day (NPMD) service.
Liz attended Sunday’s ceremony at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall with Chief Constable Nick Dean and roads policing officers PC Ian Swales and DC Sue Swales.
She posted on Twitter that they were attending in memory of PC Andy Newbery who was killed in 2003 while dealing with a road traffic collision.
Liz said: “It was an honour to be part of such a moving and poignant service, and to be able to pay our respect to all of the officers who have given their lives in serving the country.
“Their service, dedication and bravery is resolute – they really are the best of us.
“I hope that the service can give some comfort to the families, friends, and colleagues of officers who have died. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten – we will remember them.”
A congregation of almost 2,000 people attended the service including secretaries of state, police chiefs, and family and friends of fallen of officers.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who gave a reading during the service, said: “To all the officers who lost their lives while working to keep us safe, we thank you and we honour you.
“Their bravery and commitment to their duty was unfaltering. Society owes them and their loved ones a debt we cannot repay, but it is one we will not forget.
“As Home Secretary I make a promise to give police the powers and tools they need to do their jobs safely.”
During the service, candles were lit by relatives in remembrance of officers throughout the country who have lost their lives, one from each of the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Representing England was Kat Dumphreys, widow of PC Nick Dumphreys, who died on 26 January 2000 aged 47. He sustained fatal injuries when the police vehicle he was driving was in a single vehicle collision on the M6.
Liam Kelly, chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, read the names of officers who have lost their lives during the past year – PC Daniel Golding, Metropolitan Police, PC Craig Higgins, Greater Manchester Police, PC Alex Prentice, Northamptonshire Police, and PC Darryl Street, Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
He said: “National Police Memorial Day is an occasion to reflect and celebrate the best in policing not only in Northern Ireland but throughout the United Kingdom.
“Daily we see officers stepping up to the mark to safeguard communities and, sadly, on occasion, some officers are injured or lose their lives in the execution of their duties. This weekend, we say to assembled families that the police ‘family’ recognises, appreciates, and empathises with what you are experiencing and will never forget the sacrifices your loved ones made.”
There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the orchestra played Abide with me and the Last Post was sounded.
Canon David Wilbraham MBE, national police chaplain and co-ordinator of National Police Memorial Day, said: “This is the first time the National Police Memorial Day family has been able to gather in remembrance since the pandemic. Today we held those lost in honour – their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”